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Second Interuniversity Tiro en Braille Tournament (2023)

Tiro en Braille’s first, opening tournament, took place from May 13-21, 2022. That first tournament was planned in a hurry as university activities fully reopened in Guanajuato on March 14, 2022. The second edition (2023) was planned from the early days of January 2023. The goal was to achieve the participation of players from the six different Divisions of the Guanajuato Campus, as well as players from BCENOG. Unfortunatelly, despite great efforts made to reach this goal, all 7 teams from Universidad de Guanajuato (UG) came from the Law, Government, and Politcis Division (known as DDPG). Just as it happened in the 2022 edition, BCENOG quickly formed five teams. Each of the five BCENOG teams included at least one visually disabled player.

On the bright side, the 2023 edition of the tournament went from having only one private sponsor (Kurtosh) to having eight small private business sponsorhsips. Our eight proud sponsors were: JAVs (an events organizer who offered a meal and drinks and hosted the closing and award ceremony). Imprenta García (sponsoring first and second place medals,as well as the tournament’s big tarpaulin). Ni Ne Mi (which sponsored four hand-made, personalized notebooks for the tournament’s MVPs (conventional male and female player, as well as the the disabled male and female player). Paola Sweets (a healthy cookie for each of the players from first, second, and third place). La Costeña (four chicekn salad sndwiches for the MVP and a cheese-lime pie for the staff). Turibus Panorámico (an organized city tour (90 minutes) for first, second place as well as the staff). Mangro (50, 250 grams dried mango pouches for first, second, thrid, place, the staff, as well as for MVPs). La Carreta (offering a full chicken meal for the 8 members of the staff). Additionally, from the Mexican state of Guerrero, Ángel Rojas and Guadalupe Gil donated two pouches of chilate (a regional cocoa-based ancient drink).

The 2023 tournament introduced new, more resistent materials. Those materials were designed to meet the game’s philosophy and needs, that means, they are not sold “commercially”. Balls had UG’s and Tiro en Braille’s logos. Baskets and balls were made to last for years to come. This year (2023) we did not have the budget to buy the fancy, hand-woven polo-like shirts we had in 2022. However, both UG and Secretaría de Educación de Guanajuato (SEG) donated training shirts for the nearly 110 players. Also, masks were substituted by six-color bandannas. The bandannas allowed referees to differentiate players. Frequently teams were refered to as “the green, the yellow, the blue, the navy, the orange, and the grey teams”.

After a heavy contact Opening Tournament in 2022, the staff decided that when a player entered into the 1.5 square meter protected area, all players, except for the one with the ball’s possession wouyld have to freeze. The player with the ball would be able to take his/her shot (if his/her shooting clock allowed to do so) without the risk of being shoved by other players. This was a safety policy to decrease contact and potential injuries.

Also, penalty shots were introduced for the 2023 edition of the tournament. Three penalties would be awarded in the following situations: a player other than the lazarillo talks while being inside the playing field; for holding or hugging a rival player; if the lazarillo entered the playing field; or if there was any form of unsportsman conduct. Penalties proved to be decisive in several games. An example of this was the championship match in which the BCENOG team had a wide lead until a penalty was signaled. Alex, from UG, drove home the three penalty shots, changing the momentum and the strategy of the opposing team.

The MVP awards were:

Bere was the best female disabled player.

Tammy was the best female conventional player

Toño was the best male disabled player

Leo was the best male conventional player

Alberto captured two awards, as the fair play winner and also as the best male lazarillo.

Daniela captured the best female lazarillo

Finally, Fanny won the award to the tournament’s best goal (sadly, it was not recorded. The one that can be seen in a very short video is Bere’s runner-up goal).

We are confident that the 2024 tournament will mark the consolidation of the tournament, as government agencies and even sponsors abroad (in Germany) have shown interest in sponsoring the 2024 edition.

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